Haunted Journeys

Hay-Adams Hotel

Hay-Adams Hotel

800 16th Street Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia,
20006 USA

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Washington, DC is home to one of the most haunted hotels in the capital, Hay-Adams. Come explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

In 1884, Henry Hobson Richardson designed elegant Romanesque homes at the corner of 16th and H Streets. The impressive design provided joint-homes for (best friends) John Hay (Abraham Lincoln's private secretary and later a Secretary of State) and Henry Adams (the author, and descendant of John Quincy) built their homes on the plot of land where the hotel now sits. They were centered in downtown Washington, D.C., in Lafayette Square across from the White House. In 1885, Adams' wife, Marian ("Clover") Hooper Adams, committed suicide in her bedroom. At the young age of 42, she fell into a deep depression over the death of her dear father. As an accomplished photographer with her own darkroom, her lifeless body was found by her husband in front of her bedroom's fireplace after ingesting the darkroom chemical, potassium cyanide.

In 1927, nine years after Adams' death, a Washington, DC developer bought and razed both homes. He replaced them with the Hay-Adams House, an Italian Renaissance-style, 138-room apartment styled hotel. Today, the Hay-Adams is one of the city's most revered landmarks and centers for hospitality for visitors of the country's capital.

For years, the homes served as Washington's leading salons, alive with stimulating discussions about literature, art, science, and politics. Famous guests such as Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and Henry James visited. In October 2001, the hotel closed its doors for a major renovation and reopened in 2002 displaying its full grandeur and awe. Yes, the spirits that have walked these spirits are still there.

The Hauntings

It is widely believed that the spirit of Mrs. Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams, who committed suicide in 1885, haunted this majestic hotel. It is reported that the fourth floor is her eternal home, where Clover has been seen engaging with hotel guests and employees alike as she so often did during her life as a socialite. Many guests have heard her crying softly in a room or stairwell. Her spectral voice has been heard asking, "What do you want?". Housekeepers also have reported hearing their names called by her.

Others have actually felt Clover's invisible arms wrap around them in a gentle embrace. She commonly manifests herself in the living world with the fragrance of almonds. This aroma represents the poisonous Potassium Cyanide (used for developing her photography) she drank. Further connecting Clover to her spectral presence, these incidents happen most frequently during the first two weeks of December. This is around the anniversary of her death.

Other unexplained occurrences include the mysterious opening and closing of locked doors and clock radios turning on and off.

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More reads about the haunts of Washington DC's Spirits...


Haunted Washington, DC: Federal Phantoms, Government Ghosts, and Beltway Banshees Paperback – July 1, 2016 by Tom Ogden  (Author)     Washington's Haunted Past:: Capital Ghosts of America (Haunted America) Paperback – October 18, 2006 by Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell (Author)     Washington, D.C.: Ghosts, Legends, and Lore Paperback – April 10, 2008 by E. Ashley Rooney  (Author)




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Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.

We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit.

If you visit, tour, or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence, or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property).

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Date added: Jun/29/2019 | Last time updated: Oct/20/2021

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